MSC Cruises USA Furloughs 128 Staff

Dawn with MSC Poesia in the background.

According to a filing with the state of Florida, MSC Cruises USA has furloughed 128 employees, citing the COVID-19 crisis.

The furloughs include 55 cruise consultants, 10 home-based cruise consultants, five contact centre supervisors, eight group advocates and various other titles.

The company has its U.S. headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and said it hopes the furloughs are temporary.

MSC has four ships based in the United States with aspirations to grow. The Seaside, Armonia, Divina and Meraviglia serve the U.S. market.

MSC Cruises’ Two New “Seaside” Vessels

By 

It’s hard to believe that a decade ago, the MSC Cruises fleet was only made up of a handful of ships, most of which were second-hand tonnage. Now, the line has just announced a deal with Italian shipyard Fincantieri for two brand-new ships to join the popular cruise line’s current fleet of 12 modern megaships. What a difference a decade makes.

MSC's new "Seaside" class of cruise ships will debut in 2017-2018. Rendering courtesy of MSC Cruises.
MSC’s new ‘Seaside’ class of cruise ships will debut in 2017-2018. Rendering courtesy of MSC Cruises.

Dubbed Seaside, these two ships will be the largest vessels ever constructed by Fincantieri, and the largest to ever sail for MSC. Purpose-built to cruise the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South America, each vessel will be 1,060 feet in length, with a width of 135 feet. Towering 230 feet in height, they will carry up to 5,300 passengers along with a crew of 1,413. The new vessels will have a total gross tonnage of 154,000.

For MSC Cruises, it’s a special moment. The company says the two ships represent the last piece of its plan to double the capacity of its fleet by 2022. With the arrival of the new ships MSC Cruises will reach a capacity of about 80,000 passengers a day.

The €700 million vessels will boast sea-level promenades that will circumnavigate the sides of the ships with outdoor deck spaces, shops and restaurants. They will also combine the best features of MSC’s previous vessels, including the highly-popular MSC Yacht Club, along with new technology that allows for greater efficiency including reduced fuel consumption and advanced safety systems that the company says go “beyond what is required by international regulations.”

In addition, both ships will feature expanded deck space and panoramic glass elevators.

Below the MSC Video of Both Classes; Seaside and Vista Class

 MSC Two New Ship Classes Seaside and Vista

Both ships are as-yet-unnamed. The first Seaside-class ship will debut in November of 2017, with MSC taking delivery of the second in May, 2018. MSC also holds the option for a third Seaside-class vessel with Fincantieri that could be exercised if the company wishes.

MSC Cruises signs contract for two ‘revolutionary’ ships

MSC Cruises is to build two “revolutionary” cruise ships for 2017 and 2018, and has an option for a further ship.

The cruise line today signed a contract worth up to €2.1 billion with Italian shipyard Fincantieri for the new prototype project, codenamed ‘Seaside’.

They will be the largest cruise ships ever built by the shipyard and feature a “revolutionary architectural style” which MSC believes will lead the way for the next generation of cruise ships.

Features include a sea-level promenade that circumnavigates the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants, a spacious theatre, terraced balcony and panoramic lifts with sea views.

The two new ships will cost €700 million each, with the first scheduled for delivery in November 2017 and the second in May 2018, with an option for one more ship.

The deal follows MSC Cruises’ letter of intent with STX France, signed in March this year. It will allow the cruise line to double the capacity of its fleet to around 80,000 passengers a day by 2022. The line currently has 12 ships.

The ships will be 323 metres long, 41 metres wide and 70 metres in height, with a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons and accommodating 5,300 passengers plus 1,413 crew. The ships will also reduce fuel consumption by 25%.

They will boast 2,070 passenger cabins and 43,500 square metres of public space. According to the cruise line, it will be able to dock at any port worldwide thanks to its design and versatility. Construction will be funded with the support of insurance and financial company SACE.

MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfranscesco Vago said: “From the moment we started talking with Fincantieri, we had in mind to design and build two completely new ships, revolutionary in their structure, unlike anything that exists on the market today.

“Seaside is a futuristic prototype because of its structure, shape and versatility. We are getting ready for the new and compelling challenge that the construction of these ships represents. It will be a real revolution in the world’s cruise market, an excellent product for its unique and innovative architectural features and cutting-edge technology.”